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NEW ‘AM FASGAHD’ PLANS
The contract for our new £3.25 million pound state-of-the-art museum store and curatorial centre at the Folk Museum has been signed off with work due to be completed in early 2014.
The building, which is to be built by Robertson, the Elgin based infrastructure, support services and construction group, will be home to our internationally significant collection.
It will be named ‘Am Fasghdh’ in respect of our founder, pioneering social historian and folklorist Dr Isabel F Grant, who established her first museum in a disused church on Iona in 1935, naming it ‘Am Fasgadh’ (Gaelic for ‘The Shelter’). Am Fasgadh thereafter moved to domestic buildings Dr Grant purchased in Kingussie, where it was based for many years.
The museum’s curatorial team will also be based in the new building, ensuring they are well placed to care for and promote the collection. Many items in the collection are the last of their kind in the world.
The new store will be managed by High Life Highland, the charitable company established by The Highland Council to deliver cultural, learning, sport and leisure services on its behalf. Laurence Young, Interim Chair of High Life Highland said, “We are hugely looking forward to being able to better care for and promote the superb Highland collections in a state-of-the-art building. This excellent new facility will allow us to improve links with academic institutions and other interested groups and individuals, providing them with enhanced opportunities to engage with the collections”.
Bob Powell, Principal Museums Officer for High Life Highland, explained “Without Dr Grant’s superb vision in rescuing what were regarded as outmoded domestic and agricultural items, these things would have been lost to subsequent generations. Naming this new ‘shelter’ Am Fasgadh is in recognition of that vision and its importance. Although Dr Grant died in 1983, I am sure she would be delighted to know that, finally, the treasures she rescued will be housed in a purpose built facility that will provide perfect conditions for their conservation and promotion.”
Chairman of The Highland Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee, Councillor Alasdair Christie said: “ The Highland Council is delighted to be providing this superb new addition to the cultural infrastructure of the Highlands and we are pleased that it will allow future generations to continue to discover how the Highlands of the past shaped the Highlands of today.”
Frank Reid, Regional Managing Director, of Robertson said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Highland Council on this significant cultural project. The creation of this new building will help to document and maintain the rich heritage of the Highlands and Islands.”
HIGH LIFE HIGHLAND
High Life Highland is a Scottish charity set up by The Highland Council to develop and promote cultural, sporting, health and wellbeing and learning opportunities across the Highlands.
The Highland Cottage was opened on the 13th of May by MacFarlane's re-enaction group and the event was well attended by over 500 visitors. Photos of the opening can be viewed under "Newtonmore" image Gallery.
MUSEUM "PERIOD" BUS
The Museum is no longer able to run the period bus as it has sadly come to the end of its life. However, we are retaining the bus on site as an exhibit that visitors can sit in and take photos beside, as we recognise that many visitors enjoying seeing the bus as part of their visitor experience.
We have started a fund to raise enough money for a replacement bus.
ASVA recognises excellent visitor experience provided by the Highland Folk Museum (12/11/10)
Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore has won the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions “Best Visitor Experience” Award 2010, sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia. Recognising excellence in visitor experience among ASVA member organisations, the awards were presented at ASVA’s ‘Unlocking Your Assets’ conference at the Westerwood Hotel near Glasgow on 11th November.
Entries were assessed on all aspects of the layout and content of the attraction and on the ‘experience’ offered, in particular the quality of interaction between staff and visitors.
Commenting on Highland Folk Museum’s win, Chairman of the judges Bob Downie said: "The Highland Folk Museum offers an outstanding visitor experience, through its high quality of knowledgeable and friendly staff, and well thought through and authentic interpretation of bygone life in rural Scotland. It is a tribute to the vision of its founder, and I recommend that everyone with an interest in best practice take the time to appreciate what they have done on a limited budget."